BASISTA MAYOR DISQUALIFATION
Comelec asks to issue writ of execution
BASISTA, PANGASINAN – The Commission on Elections was asked to issue a writ of execution of its decision to unseat this town’s Mayor Manolito de Leon who has found to have used his United States passport twice, in 2011, and 2012, which meant that he was an American citizen.
Jocelyn Perez, the complainant against de Leon, said she could not understand why the Comelec does not implement its own decision dated October 9, 2015. Perez lost by 67 votes to de Leon, but she said de Leon , by virtue of his being an American citizen, was not a candidate at all.
“Why can’t the Comelec implement its decision? Do they (commissioners) not believe in their own decision? It has been more than 30 days since Comelec issued the order so why is there no writ of execution yet?” she said.
De Leon asked the Supreme Court to stop the Comelec from implementing the order, but the high court dismissed the petition on November 9, 2015.
In the order, the SC said the Comelec was correct in saying that de Leon has repudiated his renunciation of his American citizenship when he used his US passport on September 19, 2011 and June 26, 2012 which rendered him illegible to run in the 2013 election.
Perez said de Leon had an affidavit renouncing his US citizenship before the 2013 election.
When he filed his certificate of candidacy for the 2016 election, he attached another affidavit of renunciation of foreign citizenship dated September 30, 2015.
“What is this? Unli (unlimited) renunciation? Is he fooling all of us?” Perez told reporters on Tuesday.
Perez was accompanied by two lawyers, Reynard Panela and Paul Ryan Lucero, during the press conference. Both are counsel of the National People’s Coalition party to which Perez belongs.
Lucero said if de Leon has really renounced his US citizenship, he should get an affidavit from the US Embassy that he already did.
“But the affidavits of renunciation are issued in the Philippines and we have no means of knowing if he submitted them to the US Embassy,” Lucero said.
Lucero said Comelec’s decision is “immediately executory that is why De Leon asked the Supreme Court for a TRO. But since the Supreme Court did not issue a TRO, the Comelec should issue the writ of execution immediately.”
“If we go by the book, the writ should be issued within 30 days after the decision is issued. But this is the reality – the Comelec is delaying the issuance of the writ. But we would do our and we are confident that we could get a writ of execution,” he said.
Perez has filed three urgent motions to the Comelec to issue a writ but “we are still waiting.”
She also said de Leon should step down from office “not only on legal, but on moral grounds.”
“He already knew that he was disqualified so why is he holding on to office? Why won’t he step down? If he has self-respect, he should step down,” she said.
But Perez said she was confident that justice would be served to Basista residents who deserve the leader they voted for.
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